Fitting Around You Transcript

Fitting around you

Voiceover: Sense Scotland has always worked flexibly with disabled people and their families to build a package of support through our services which fits around people's aspirations, needs and budgets. Self Directed Support, or SDS for short, 'allows people to choose how their support is provided to them by giving them as much control over the individual budgets.'

Brothers Gerard and Martin have been supported by Sense Scotland since they were four years old. They currently use SDS to pursue individual interests and ambitions and they're supported by a variety of our services.

Gary Simpson: "I'm Gary Simpson and I am the parent of Martin and Gerard Simpson who are twins who were born in 1991 very, very prematurely and are both blind with severe learning difficulties as well.

Gerard Simpson: "My name is Gerard Simpson, I'm 20 years old so I'm going to be 21 soon.I'm blind and I use a cane."

Gary Simpson: "We first heard about Sense Scotland through the school and that was round about 1995 when they first started accessing Sense Scotland. We met Pat Brown, he was the family advisor at that time and still is even after all these years which is quite comforting to know."

Pat Brown: "I'm Pat Brown and I'm the family advisor for the West of Scotland. We in the advisory service, we're the first point of contact to support families, whether they phone, email or whether we get families that we meet up at reviews or whatever."

Voiceover: Gary and the family then took their first steps towards getting support through our person centred services.

Gary Simpson: "Well initially it was the day care service that we accessed and that gave us some time to be able to just like mundane things like clean bedrooms and things like that."

Voiceover: The boys then started to staying over at our respite service in Glasgow.

Gary Simpson: "Whilst they were at the respite they actually made some friends and they're still friends to this day."

Voiceover: As Self Directed Support has been introduced in some local authorities it was highlighted to Gary that this could be a different and more flexible way to manage the boy's services.

Gary Simpson: "We'd heard of Self Directed Support, but hadn't been prepared to use it before because I was a bit concerned about it. We have a financial package from Glasgow City Council which enables us to buy services.Gerard is at college 3 days a week and is supported by a member from Sense Children and Families team.Martin through the One Giant Leap project, has been given the opportunity for a work placement and he's been doing that for about five or six months now."

Voiceover: One Giant Leap is a group for young adults who are going through the transition from childrens' to adult services.

Pat Brown: "Transitions' are a challenge for families, where they've been at school for all these years and then they're moving into the adult world.the over-riding principles of self-directed support are excellent but it's how that works in practice, the whole process really needs to be explained to families. How they go about getting their budget to buy in support for them."

Voiceover: One of the flexible options for respite that we offered was to use our respite service in Helensburgh, a welcome change from the city breaks that they had been used to.

Gary: "They seem to again, team people up in age appropriateness as well and they're able to, for example on a Friday night when they actually come and meet us in Glasgow and take the boys for something to eat on the way back down, so it makes it more of an occasion and I'm able to pick them up on a Sunday morning. So again my wife and I are able to have quite good quality time. It's a very nice location and they've go nice garden grounds and so on. Every time they've gone there they've come up with something different to do. The boys look forward to it."

Gerard Simpson: (about Ardlui) "I think it was good memories coming over here at weekends."

Voiceover: Sense Scotland has always provided flexible approaches to supporting disabled people of all ages.

Pat Brown: "They can buy into arts, drama, going to parks, whatever, it doesn't matter, as long as we've got the staff to be able to do it, they can purchase whatever they want to do."

Voiceover: And how did Sense Scotland make the SDS approach work so well for Gerard and Martin?

Pat Brown: "It worked for them because we sat down with mum and dad and listened to what they wanted. We also listened to the boys and what they wanted to do and that's fundamental to anything, is to listen to the parents and listen to the young people. It's not about grouping people into what fits into us, it's what fits into that young person and I think that's what makes us different."

Voiceover: So what about the future for Gerard and Martin?

Gary: "They've really blossomed as young men and I know they're coming up to twenty one now. The sky's the limit as far as they're concerned."

If you would like to find out how Sense Scotland can support you or a family member through Self Directed Support contact our Family Advisors on:

0141 429 0294

Email advisory@sensescotland.org.uk

Or visit our website www.sensescotland.org.uk